Colombia’s Operation Agamemnon II

October 10, 2018 Crime , OPINION/NEWS , OTHER , South America

Reuters photo

 

By

Ricardo Swire

 

 

Colombia’s extensive three year intelligence driven national security offensive has caused significant undulation in the country’s criminal landscape. In early 2015 a former soldier was arrested, after unofficially serving as an intermediary to and trainer of Los Urabenos drug cartel. His unofficial assignments extended to Sinaloa Cartel and Los Zetas’ affiliates in Mexico. In August 2018 “Nicolas”, another one of the Urabenos Cartel’s top lieutenants, was arrested.

 

Operation Agamemnon’s enforcement raids have pressured “Otoniel,” the Urabenos Cartel Boss-of-Bosses, to regroup and re-strategize. Over time the organization transitioned from planes and go-fast boats to semi-submersibles that transport its narcotics. Otoniel’s underling “Chiquito Malo” is in charge of US and European trafficking routes. Another lieutenant called “Marihuano” controls the local Uraba Block, plus seven hundred Caribbean sub-region members.

 

On August 31, 2017 Otoniel’s deputy “Gavilan” was killed during an Operation Agamemnon raid in the Cartel’s hometown. Several key Urabenos Cartel operatives such as “El Indio” and “Samuel” are no longer relevant. On March 28, 2018 El Indio was killed in an aerial attack that targeted the Cordoba district in northern Colombia. On May 21, 2018 Samuel was captured in Jacinto city, northern department of Bolivar. Since 2013 Otoniel has commanded close to four thousand Urabenos Cartel members, spread across twenty of Colombia’s thirty-two departments/parishes.

 

He also exercises power and control over cells in Panama, Venezuela and Spain. The Cartel boss has developed stronger relationships with Central American counterparts. Honduras serves as the Urabenos Cartel’s trampoline for drug shipments to Mexico. Product is warehoused then directed to US distributors. During March 2018 five hundred and sixty-two kilos of the Cartel’s cocaine destined for Panama, transported aboard a boat called Maratana, was intercepted on the Caribbean Sea near Cartagena.

 

The criminal empire’s sophisticated money laundering network and payola to cooperative Colombian government officials are orchestrated by Otoniel’s trusted lieutenants. Since commencement of Operation Agamemnon the Urabenos Cartel has lost over three hundred metric tons of cocaine to seizures, ninety-three clandestine labs and three hundred metric tons of cocaine valued US$700 million seized. Approximately two thousand five hundred members were arrested or killed in enforcement confrontations.

 

 

 

 

Ricardo Swire - Tuck Magazine

Ricardo Swire

Ricardo Swire is the Principal Consultant at R-L-H Security Consultants & Business Support Services and writes on a number of important issues.

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